Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Fresh View From A New Face

Yesterday, I received a Google News Alert mentioning a letter posted by new selectman , Scott Garieri. I read it and found it to be a very good letter. In the letter he writes that communication is very important, and that he is establishing a forum for commentary. I assume this forum will be online.

I did have one issue with what he wrote. He set up the ground rules for comments in the forum, and asks that they stay on track, but unlike a private individual that can choose what comments to post, a public official, in a public forum must post all, or at least acknowledge all. Unless, of course they don't meet the ground rules, but to just say, "...and at times unwilling, to respond to every thought conveyed..." gives the impression of not giving a rats butt about somethings.

It may have just been a matter of editing, or poor word choice. Heck, he's new at this. Maybe, I am too tainted by other officials posting "forums" to take things at face value.

Anyway, Good luck, Scott. I wish you success in this new venture. I believe it will offer some fine insight for many of us. One word of caution, though, "think". Think as you write, think as you edit, and before you post, think again. Things have a way of hanging around in print, and on the Internet, it never, ever goes away.

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

"...Though I will be unable, and at times unwilling, to respond to every thought conveyed, I assure you that I will carefully consider every constructive thought offered."

Comments are now closed.


  1. Love the picture of the Library in 1897! Your choice of visual media is always enjoyable and thought provoking.

    I have to say that, I for one am not at all surprised with Mr. Garieri's choice of words, or his choice of using a non-official blog.

    If anything, he should use the town's official website instead of trying to engage residents on a blog which is controled by a non-public official blogmaster. Would be great to get residents and others to visit the town's website; it's a good one in my opinion.

    I have always found Mr. Garieri to be arrogant, and "unwilling" to be considerate of different kinds of people in this world, unless you're a customer of course. Then he pays you lip service. He is very selective and elitist, but without reason to be such.

    That being said, I wish him luck too. Because choosing a blog to get your word out, especially one that is tilted, is not a good choice in my opinion, and is indicative of many bad choices that will surface as time goes on.

  2. Al, Scott Garieri can be a jerk to customers too. I speak from experience.

  3. I too was impressed and surprised with Selectmen Scott Garieris letter and writing skills. Some people do write better then they speak. I was wondering why he does not use the Town website this would be a legitimate site people would be comfortable using. It will also get more traffic to the Town website and in the long run may help inform people about Sturbridge. If Scott is doing this as a Selectman he must answer every thought conveyed and not pick and choose his agenda no matter how painful he might find it. I hope he gives information on how to contact him.

  4. al - do a google search on "selectman, blogs". Non-official blogs for selectman across the country are quite popular. Also, I take exception with being "tilted" since anyone can post an article on that site. It's unfortunate that only a certain set of folks in this town have the courage to use open, social media sites like Also, are you saying is not a legitimate site? How is it any different than various selectmen writing articles in the Tantasqua Town Common or the SEN? I'll answer that - it's better because everyone has the ability to comment and/or immediately post a rebuttal. Far more effective than waiting until the following Thursday.

  5. I agree with Al. If one is going have a blog/forum as a selectman it shoul be done on an official level. the towns web site would be best to have this. The governor doesn't answer questions or post opinions on Facebook, nor does our congressman. Official words belong in an official place. Of course , if the selectman was to post articles and opinions as a private citizen, then newstronics would be fine.

  6. Aren't you contradicting yourself? Didn't Ted Goodwin and Steve Halterman write articles in the Tantasqua Town Common and the SEN supporting their decision making process on the Waste Water Treatment Facility right before the Annual Town Meeting? Doesn't that contradict your logic of "official words go in official places"? How is this different than posting an article on

  7. I just finished reading this one, and I can understand the concerns. A newspape article outlining an officials opinion, or a canditates position is far different than a "forum" as described by the selctman. Neither of the two people mentioned took questions, they wrote of their opinion only. the newspaper is a good place for that.

  8. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one Anonymous. A post on or a blog allows for immediate comments from the community. It's actually far more effective than a simple, old fashioned newspaper article.

  9. But a post is different than a newpaper article. The other gentlemen wrote articles, not forums or blogs. You cannot compare the two. A blog on the town website is the only way to go. If an "exchange" is to be presented between selectmen and resident, then it must be overseen in an official format. Newstronic is not official. He can write all the articles he wants for Newstronic, but not an exchange/forum/blog. It's all about ethics.

  10. I have posted to Newstronics in the past, and my comment was not posted. Everyone knows the blogmaster has controls about what's posted. The question becomes: does he or she lean toward a special interest?

    Patrick, in your first post, you said: "It's unfortunate that only a certain set of folks in this town have the courage to use open, social media sites like"

    That being said, all people can expect fairness at your sight? No, I doubt it. And excuse me, but you are representing a special interest group too, just by hosting that jerk.

    Who cares what other public officials do? Doesn't mean it's right.

    A town-official blog is the ONLY place ALL residents can expect fairness. Also, any post sent to a town media becomes public record. Maybe this is why Garieri doesn't want to use an official site, so he can circumvent ethics, protocol and procedure?

    If an elected town official puts himself or herself out there, but then is "unwilling" toe the line, why was he elected? It only makes sense that when the going gets rough, he'll shut down a conversation when he doesn't like the subject, or can't answer the question without losing his temper, or can't "win" the conversation.

    Yours is a tilted blog, Patrick and you let the cat out of the bag with your own quote above.

    Also Patrick, a newspaper Editor has a lot more to answer to than a blogmaster does (zero), so don't put yourself in that ring. You don't belong in it. Seems some blogmasters will do and say anything to get HITS.

  11. Anonymous, can you explain the difference between a post from a selectman on with the ability to comment vs. an article posted on with the ability to comment?

  12. Basically what Garieri is saying is, he has watched (and has been a part of) and stood by while his colleagues on the Selectboard have had to endure public humiliation, attacks, lies and intimidation at the hands of the SPW blogmaster. He therefore has set the stage by stating he is "unwilling".

    I would HATE to be in a foxhole with that coward.

    Excellent post this morning TOL! Now I'm LOL!

  13. babcock, Really? You don't know the difference between a newspaper article that accepts comments on a story written by a reporter, or by an individual, and a forum like a blog that has postings that encourage comments? Two different media. The newspaper prints a story, and as an aside on their online site, may accept comments. The reporter did not write it for the comments, he wrote it for the story.